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Thursday, June 28, 2012

“Colorado Is On Fire”

by Saint Mark (bio)

"Thou shalt be visited of the Lord of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire." (Isaiah 29:6)

After seeing an uplifting film about redemption and resurrection (The Lorax), my family and I walked to our car in the parking lot which overlooks the valley and the mountain range in Colorado Springs. The view of the mountains is breathtaking usually for “purple majesty” reasons but on this day our breath was taken away by fire.

A massive grey-orange cloud curled and stretched high like a waking calico from the Pyramid Mountain and the Waldo Canyon area, just above Garden of the Gods. It plumed like a mushroom cloud, and on this hot June day, with nary a nimbus on the horizon, this felt like the beginning of something horrible.

Now, only four days later, some of our worst fears are reified: the fire has crested the mountain range and surfed down the mountainside, consuming the residences and other structures who built next to this once beautiful and lush mountain side. The smoke and ash have continued to billow and obfuscate the bright sun with burnt orange blackness. Yesterday, while I drove home, street lights, car lights and other automatically triggered lights came on, shining eerily in the late afternoon because the fire cloud had nestled in our hills and neighborhoods.

I love the smell of a campfire but not continuously and not from the perspective that I am one of the logs. The smell is so pungent that I felt impressed after praying about it to send my pregnant wife and children to my wife’s parent’s home as a precaution. I will remain here until further notice and witness what occurs. Here is a sample of what we are seeing.

Thinking of the thousands of trees and other flora that has been consumed not only here in Colorado but in the West this season, John’s Revelation seems appropriate:

“And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.

The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth; and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.” (Revelation 8:6-7)

After seeing the destruction caused by the Joplin tornados last year, living in the midst of this one-of-many Colorado fires causes feelings of fear, anxiety, and sorrow. Last night for our couple scripture study, my wife and I read Joseph Smith-Matthew in which Christ shares with his apostles the signs of his second coming. He references the Abomination of Desolation prophesied by Daniel and other horrors that should come. Yet, then he reminds us, “But he that remaineth steadfast and is not overcome, the same shall be saved ... see that ye be not troubled, for all I have told you must come to pass; but the end is not yet” (JST-Matthew 1:11, 23).

Even though we are in the midst of these terrible trials and depressing destructions, I feel encouraged that a) it has been prophesied that these things will happen so I am better prepared emotionally, spiritually and temporally when they do occur, and b) that Jesus Christ will buoy us up through our sufferings.
Isn’t that why He died for us in the first place? To come unto Him for He not only is the way but he knows the way through every one of our trials.

It is also cathartic to revisit my past statements to steel my nerves so that my heart will not fail me when I am needed most in helping to lighten others’ burdens. MMM has become, in a way, my own journal of support and edification when I feel heavily burdened.

I don’t know how this will end and I’ll strive to keep you posted. But, I do know that when it ends, Christ will be there.

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